One of two men who fled from Lodi police Wednesday was initially believed to be wanted on a host of local charges, but the suspect is a different person, detectives said Thursday.
John Odom Harris was not in the car that fled from police at speeds of 120 mph; instead, a different unidentified man was in the car, Detective Eric Bradley said.
The other man in the car, Danny Darnell Coleman Jr., 20, was named in a federal indictment last month charging him with conspiracy, court records show. The charge, related to the "Taliban Gang" out of the Bay Area, carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Though Harris wasn't in the car, he is still wanted on at least 15 felony charges totaling more than $1.2 million bail. He has ties to the Stockton area, and Bradley said Harris may have recently shaved off his dreadlocks.
On Thursday, a prosecutor also cleared up the matter of how Harris had been released from the San Joaquin County Jail.
On Jan. 22, Harris' attorney asked that the 24-year-old be released long enough to attend an interview at the San Francisco-based Delancey Street Foundation, a well-respected live-in drug treatment program.
In addition to a number of firearm and police evasion charges, Harris is also charged with a variety of felony drug violations. At that point his bail wasn't nearly as high, in part because one $500,000 warrant hadn't been filed.
Deputy District Attorney Donald Vaughn objected to the treatment program idea, but Judge Franklin Stephenson granted the request.
The county Probation Department took Harris to San Francisco, and he fled from the vehicle as soon as it arrived in the city.
A Thursday afternoon call to probation officials regarding the process for taking inmates to Delancey Street, including whether they are handcuffed, was not immediately returned.
A call to the foundation was also not immediately returned, nor was a call to Harris' attorney, Armando Villapudua.
Vaughn has since filed another case against Harris, charging him with escape while felony charges were pending, and secured a $500,000 warrant.
Coleman, meanwhile, was one of 26 people indicted Feb. 25. In addition to conspiracy, some were charged with distributing cocaine.
More than 40 members of the Taliban Gang - not connected to Arabs or Muslims - were arrested earlier this month on federal and state charges in a massive law enforcement operation.
On Wednesday, Lodi police detectives learned that Coleman and Harris were possibly in the city, and they were in an undercover vehicle when two men drove away.
The detectives tried to pull them over, but the car accelerated, speeding down Hutchins Street. Detectives caught up after the car crashed at Prospector Drive south of Morada Lane, where the car crashed and the two occupants ran in separate directions. An extensive search was unsuccessful.
The outcome frustrated police, who noted that the suspects were driving at 120 mph "with no regard for human safety," so detectives couldn't get close enough to them, Bradley said.
"Even though we are driving with our lights and sirens on above the speed limit, we still have to maintain public safety," Bradley said. "We have to balance the crime, the road conditions and the danger to the public."